Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Eamon McGrath - 13 Songs About Whiskey and Light

"Oh, you're cursin' through your lips"
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I've written about this record before but I don't know if I've pushed it on my hardcore homies enough. I suppose it's no secret that I have a deep seeded love of Can-rock, not that hardcore exhausts itself, but rarely does it hit all the themes and sentiments I recognize around me and look for in songs. Yes, Can-rock will always get put unashamedly on my mixtapes, and this Eamon McGrath recording sings like a friend from the past.

For the most part, Eamon's stuff has always seemed pretty hit and miss to me, but maybe that's what makes 13 Songs so good - that even he would recognize that not every song penned is a winner, and so why not write a hundred songs and pick the 13 best - thus, you've got a perfect album on your hands. And yes, the recordings here are often shakey, uneven first takes, tape hiss all over, voice cracks galore - but in the end, what matters is just how immediate and honest it sounds. The characters that appear in his songs (auto-biographical or not) are ones that are familiar to me here in Alberta. "Desperation, Alberta" could be anyone I knew growing up in Red Deer. I know these people, I recognize their voices. I know the style isn't exactly breaking new ground, but that matters little. I understand the desire to sing with the voice in which people understand how to hear. I adore how his voice grows more and more hoarse on "Chained to My Love" as the song continues. It essentially becomes more difficult to sing as it rolls on, but it implores even stronger for us to listen. "Ecstasy Railings," in particular, could likely be one of the most harrowing and crushing songs I've ever heard, and the truest stories are the most difficult from which to turn away.

Take it how you will, but to me this record sounds like home.


  1. Weirrrrrd. I was just listening to this last night and was thinking about writing a post for it. Bravo!

  2. Yes, a great album from an up and coming talent from Alberta (now TO). Check out his latest album entitled Peace Maker. This guy is great live and I expect big things in the future.